Technical Standards for Admission
Every applicant who seeks admission to Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine is expected to possess those intellectual, ethical, physical, and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty. Once enrolled in Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, each candidate for the DO degree must quickly and accurately be able to integrate all information received, perform in a reasonably independent manner, and demonstrate the ability to learn, integrate, analyze and synthesize information and data.
TouroCOM will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for physically challenged students. However, in doing so, TouroCOM must maintain the integrity of its curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the acquisition of knowledge in all areas of osteopathic medicine, including the demonstration of basic skills requisite for the practice of osteopathic medicine. If you will be requesting reasonable accommodations, please reach out to the Touro University Office of Student Disability Services.
Accordingly, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine requires each student to meet certain technical requirements, which include:
- Professionalism. Candidates and students must possess the skill, competence, or character expected of a member of a highly trained profession required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive relationships with patients and co-workers. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in treating the problems of patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and education process.
- Observation. Candidates and students must have sufficient vision to be able to observe demonstrations, and properly perform experiments and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences. They must be able to observe a patient accurately, both at a distance and close at-hand, and be able to discern nuances of facial expressions and body language.
- Communication. Candidates and students must be able to speak, hear, and observe in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity, and posture, and to perceive non- verbal communication. Communication includes not only speech, but also reading and writing. They must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form, with all members of the health care team.
- Motor Function. Candidates and students must have sufficient motor function to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Examples emergency treatment reasonably required of physicians are: cardiopulmonary resuscitation; administration of intravenous medication; and the application of pressure to stop bleeding; the opening of obstructed airways; and the suturing of simple wounds. Such actions require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and functional use of the senses of touch and vision.
- Since osteopathic medical candidates and students need enhanced ability in their sensory skills, it will be necessary to evaluate for candidacy those individuals who are otherwise qualified, but who have significant tactile sensory or proprioceptive disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals with previous burns, malformations of upper extremities, cicatrix formation and sensory motor or special sensory deficits.
- Strength and Mobility. Osteopathic manipulative medical treatment often requires considerable upper extremity and body strength. Therefore, individuals with significant limitations in these areas would be unlikely to succeed. Mobility to attend to emergencies, and to perform such maneuvers as CPR, is also required.
- Visual Integration. Consistent with ability to assess asymmetry, range of motion, and tissue color and texture changes. It is essential for the candidate to have adequate visual capabilities for the integration of evaluation and treatment of the patient.
- Intellectual, Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities. The candidate must be able to demonstrate ability in measurement, calculation, reasoning, comparison and contrast, analysis and synthesis, and problem solving. Candidates and students must demonstrate ability to comprehend three-dimensional relationships, and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
- Behavioral and Social Abilities. Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive relationships with patients and co-workers. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physically and mentally taxing workloads, adapt to changing environments, display flexibility, and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in treating the problems of patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, interest, and motivation are personal qualities that will be assessed during the admissions and education process.
- Participation is required in all physical examination courses and laboratories, including but not limited to Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Physical Diagnosis, Primary Care Skills, Objective Structured Clinical Examination, and Clinical Rotations. Active participation in physical examination courses is an admission, matriculation, and graduation requirement. For example, during the first two years of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) training, each student will palpate, in the laboratory setting, a variety of people representing both genders and individuals with different body types to simulate the diversity of patients expected in a practice setting. Being palpated by other students and faculty helps the student appreciate how palpation feels from the patients' perspective, and enables students to provide feedback to their laboratory partners, thus enhancing their palpatory skills. Reading and observation, although helpful, do not develop the skills required to perform palpatory diagnosis and/or manipulative treatment. Again, each student is required to actively participate in all skills development sessions of the physical examination courses, laboratories, and OMM. Occasionally, a student may have a physical problem, which may restrict or prevent use of a specific type of manipulation in a specific anatomical location in the physical examination courses. A student who feels his/her manipulation might be so limited, is required to contact the head of the specific departments before the beginning of the course, and present documentation of the problem. The student is expected to actively participate in all laboratory sessions not directly affected by the problem.
- Dress code in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and Physical Diagnosis Laboratories. It is imperative to the educational process that the specific body region being examined and/or treated will need to be exposed for observation, palpation and treatment. The dress requirement in clinical skills training sessions is designed to promote learning by providing optimal access to diagnostic observation and palpatory experience to the specific region of the body being examined. Wearing inappropriate clothing interferes with a partner’s experience of diagnosis and treatment.
Appropriate attire must be clean and includes:
- Shorts which are several inches above the knee - (no jean shorts, cut-offs, cargo, thick-seamed shorts, spandex, short shorts or knee length shorts)
- T-shirts - both genders will be asked to remove t-shirts while acting as patients.
- Sports bras or bathing suit tops for women - these should expose the spine and ribs (not wide t-back styles).
- Students may wear scrubs (or other apparel approved by the course director) over the laboratory attire when not in the role of the patient. Students serving as patients may wear cover-ups for areas of the body not being examined (however, students must be prepared to reveal other parts of the anatomy as specific lessons unfold and trace the interconnectivity of the human body).
- When in the role of the patient, each student is expected to remove her/his shoes (no shoes are permitted on the tables).
- Hats or head coverings (other than for religious purposes) are not permitted in lab.
- Religious head coverings must be modified when necessary to allow palpation when they would obscure the immediate area to be examined or treated (e.g., head, neck, upper back). Modifications can include: adjustment of the covering permitting unobstructed palpation beneath the covering; or substitution of a thinner material that allows for adequate evaluation and treatment.
- Each student must be appropriately attired and prepared before class begins. Failure to be appropriately attired for class impedes the educational process and will not be tolerated.
- The Touro University System is founded on support of and sensitivity to religious observance. TouroCOM will ensure that reasonable accommodation of religious sensitivities is provided to the extent that it does not impact negatively on the delivery and execution of the curriculum and its leaning objectives. Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and Physical Diagnosis labs are critical to the Osteopathic Medical curriculum and each student must participate fully. Touro reserves the right to determine the extent, frequency and academic impact of accommodations offered on a case-by-case basis.
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine is committed to ensuring that qualified students receive the benefits of our medical program. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine's ultimate responsibility is to the future patients treated by the students that we educate and train. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine will make reasonable accommodations necessary to enable otherwise qualified students with disabilities to meaningfully participate in our osteopathic medicine program. However, notwithstanding the accommodations provided, in order to be granted a degree, every student must pass COMLEX USA Level 1 and COMLEX USA Level 2 - CE and PE within six years of matriculation at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. These examinations are administered through the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME). Students are advised that even though Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine may offer a reasonable accommodation, NBOME has its own requirements and standards. The accommodations, if any, a student receives at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine may not be available or offered by NBOME, please contact the NBOME for individual concerns. Students are cautioned to address these concerns to avoid upset and a potential situation where the students has expended great time, money and effort in their education, but cannot pass COMLEX exams. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine expects that all students meet all essential requirements of the program as well as the technical standards for the safe, efficient and effective performance during the clinical rotation assignments and for the practice of medicine.